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Copenhagen Denmark History of Copenhagen


Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and its largest city, where parliament, ministries and royal residence are located. The population is estimated 504,000. The municipal seat of government is the Copenhagen City Hall.

The city originated as a fishing village in Viking era, in 1167  Bishop Absalon built "Castle at Havn" there. From that time the city, although not a capital, played an important role as a major trade center. In 1100s two Roman-Catholic cathedrals were built in Roskilde and Lund, and development of these regional centres  facilitated the city's development as merchant center, because it was centrally located for traffic and trading. The city specialised mainly in fishery trade, and also was an important sea trade center between Europe and Scandinavia. The city entered powerful Hanseatic League, considerably grew in size and was fortified. In 1416 it came under the rule of Danish crown.

By 16-17 centuries it became Denmark's major trade and political centre. Magnificent castles and palaces were built on the commission of Danish kings. The city became the centre for sciences and arts, the university was founded. During 18-19 centuries its success fluctuated, changing between periods of prosperity and poverty. After the European Revolutions of 1848 Denmark become constitutional monarchy on June, 5, 1849. On January, 1, 1850 Copenhagen got a new municipal constitution, which soon expanded in 1857.

During the World War II the city suffered from bombardments, and part of the Royal Fleet was sunk in the bay to prevent using by Germans. After the war it was rapidly reconstructed and grew several times, in 1970s the so-called five-finger-plan of commuter trainlines to surrounding towns and suburbs was developed. In 1992 was begun the construction of the Copenhagen metro, which was opened in 2002, and the development of new residential area on the island of Amager.

Now Copenhagen is rated among the best European cities to live in, despite relatively high cost of living. It incorporated various suburbs and Frederiksberg community. The most recent municipal reform project of 2007 is aimed to regulate administrative and territorial issues, connected with integration of various residential areas.


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